Pop punk royalty Blink 182 are riding the crest of a revivalist wave with a sold-out UK arena tour epitomising the band’s enduring popularity. HRH Mag dispatched Adam Keys to discover what all the fuss is about.
Following last year’s chart topping California comeback, Blink 182 have suddenly found themselves relevant again and their latest UK tour with Frank Turner was hotly anticipated, with tickets flying out.
Following a vibrant opening set from The Front Bottoms, Frank Turner bounced onto the stage in his usual boisterous style flanked by The Sleeping Souls. Following a fist-pumping set that included I Still Believe, Four Simple Words and Photosynthesis, the crowd were pumped and ready for the main event.
Emerging to a burning symbol of ‘FUCK’, Blink 182 burst into life with Feeling This, from their 2003 self-titled album. From the off Matt Skiba, clad in convict-style trousers, was full of life with vocals on point. Meanwhile Mark Hoppus seemed intent on covering every inch of the stage.
With the audience well and truly feeling it, the trio launched into The Rock Show, sending the millennial crowd into melt down and taking them back to the summer of 2001. Playing such an iconic track so early in the set was a ballsy move by the Californian punks, but one that set the tone for an adventurous setlist that featured hit after hit.
As explosions of fire turned up the heat, Travis Barker delivered an explosion of style from behind the kit. Much like Tommy Lee when Motley Crue played the Metro Radio Arena in 2015, Barker showed that he’s a drummer with enough talent, energy and passion to almost carry a show by himself. Thankfully he didn’t need to.
With 11,000 packed into a hot, sweaty arena, Blink 182 raced through 20-plus songs, including classics Anthem Part Two, What’s My Age Again and I Miss You. The iconic songs sent the audience wild with screaming people on shoulders and perpetual pogoing. That energy was matched on stage by a band that look happier and tighter than ever.
Since joining the band, Skiba has won plaudits from fans and media alike, his stage presence generally considered a step up from the controversial Tom DeLonge. Last night was another demonstration of the class Skiba brings to the stage and his chemistry with Hoppus is there for all to see – especially on collaborations Cynical, Sober and Built This Pool.
With just an hour on the clock, Blink 182 left the stage, before returning for All The Small Things and Dammit. These anthemic tracks were followed by a flow of confetti and a drum solo from Barker’s son. And then it was over – with just 70 minutes on the clock. A short set but one packed with class.
Images By Gordon Armstrong